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Tofu in Rice wine, Hakka Style

Vegetables, also Vegetarian Foods

Tofu in Rice wine, Hakka Style
2 teaspoons red yeast rice (optional)
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup fermented sweet wine rice, including its liquid
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine such as Shaoxing, or use a dry sherry
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
14 to 16 ounces soft tofu
4 ounces skinless and boneless chicken thighs or pork butt (see note below)
4 ounces peeled medium-size shrimp, their veins removed and discarded
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
3 Tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1. For the sauce, place the red yeast rice in a fine strainer and rinse well. Pour into a small bowl and cover with boiling water, and let stand until soft, about five minutes. Stir in the broth, wine rice, wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
2. Next, in a three- to four-quart pan over high heat, bring two quarts water to a boil. Then drain the tofu and invert it on to a rimless dinner plate or a wooden board. Cut the tofu into half-inch cubes and gently slide them into the boiling water. When the water begins to barely simmer, remove the pan from the heat, and let the tofu stand in this hot water until ready to stir-fry it.
3. Finely chop the chicken or pork, and shrimp; then gently drain the tofu into a colander.
4. Set a fourteen-inch wok or twelve-inch fry pan over high heat; when hot, add the oil and spread it around. Then add garlic, chicken, and shrimp and stir-fry until slightly brown and crumbly, about a minute or two. Stir the sauce mixture, add it to the pan, and stir until it boils, then add the drained tofu and cook stirring occasionally and gently, until the tofu absorbs some sauce, about a minute or two. Sprinkle scallion pieces over the tofu, put in a bowl, and serve.
Note: Fermented sweet wine rice is, in some markets, called rice pudding or rice sauce. Look for it in the refrigerated section of most Asian markets. It resembles soft white rice in a slightly cloudy liquid, its wine. Dried red yeast rice adds color and helps balance the wine’s sweetness. If you can not find these products, make a less complex sauce mixing one-third cup chicken broth, one-third cup cream sherry, three tablespoons water, two tablespoons dry sherry, one tablespoon soy sauce, two teaspoons cornstarch, half-teaspoon salt, and one-quarter teaspoon ground black pepper. This dish serves three to four people as a main dish in a multi-course meal.

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